What we do

Refuge4Pets was founded in August 2017. We are a registered charity in England and Wales and our Registered Charity Number is 1174331. We are a small, local charity with a very dedicated team of staff, volunteers and trustees.

Pet Fostering Service

We foster dogs, cats, horses, birds, reptiles, rabbits and other animals such as guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils and fish. We will foster any animal (even livestock and exotics) as long as we have a suitable foster home. We foster animals for up to 6 months and provide everything that animals need while they are in foster care.

Our animal foster carers are volunteers who are committed to caring for animals. Volunteers are carefully recruited to make sure they offer the best possible temporary foster homes. Our foster families care for animals until it is safe for them to be reunited with their families.

We understand that victim-survivors of domestic abuse often have to leave with nothing. This is why we supply everything that animals need such as food, bedding and toys. We also cover the cost of any veterinary treatment and medicines required during their time with us.

Outreach Service

Our outreach service across Devon and Cornwall is focused on providing victim-survivors of domestic abuse who use our animal fostering service with a holistic package of support to aid their recovery from abuse and improve their quality of life.

The outreach service that we provide supports victim-survivors of domestic abuse to:

  • Increase their safety in the community
  • Increase confidence, self-esteem, and resilience
  • Build positive support networks in the community to reduce loneliness and isolation
  • Increase victim-survivors’ mental health and wellbeing

We do this by offering support based on the needs of each individual, which can include 1-2-1 and group-based support.

We also run the recovery toolkit and freedom program to help people recover from the domestic abuse as well as various specialist training courses for professionals and volunteers supporting victim-survivors of domestic abuse.

Support for Service Users

We make sure that service users are kept up to date with how their animals are doing in foster care and we send pictures regularly.

We also run monthly meet ups with families that we foster for. This time enables survivors to come together for a range of activities, usually outdoors with animals. Monthly meet ups are for adults and children and can help build positive support networks, confidence and self-esteem.

Support for Volunteers

We are a small team, but we are on hand to provide support to volunteers around the clock. If you are an animal foster carer you can contact your Project Worker directly Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm. In an emergency, outside of these hours please call 0300 4000 121 and we will get back to you.

Every other month we get together for various activities as a team in locations across Devon and Cornwall.

Training for Professionals

We are developing our training for professionals. This training aims to raise awareness about the link between domestic abuse and animal abuse. Developing this understanding is essential in terms of safeguarding adults, children and animals. The training will be on offer to a broad range of professionals working with humans and animals.

More details coming soon about this training with dates, venues and how to book.

Educational Talks to Local Groups

If you run a local group and you would like us to give a talk to your group about our service and why we exist, we are always happy to do so. We don’t charge for talks because we are just happy to raise awareness about our service.

Community Events

Our community events are currently on hold due to COVID-19. As soon as we know more, we will let you know the events we are attending and when.

Our Purpose, Vision, Values & Strategy

Our Purpose

To enable freedom from domestic abuse for people and animals.

Our Vision

We offer victims-survivors of domestic abuse an animal fostering service to remove a significant barrier which prevents many victims-survivors from leaving. We empower victims-survivors to access the vital safety and support they need before being reunited with their much-loved animals. We believe that animals are an important part of victims-survivors’ coping strategies and that the reciprocal bond between victim-survivors and animals aids recovery from trauma. We also work to reduce loneliness and isolation and improve the wellbeing of victim-survivors and volunteers in the community

Our Values

Refuge4Pets determination in achieving its objectives are derived from its values of:

  • Empathy We understand what people and animals have been through and how they feel.
  • Equality We believe that everyone is equal and has the right to live free of violence and abuse.
  • Empowerment We empower victims/survivors to regain control of their lives and access vital safety and support.
  • Effectiveness We work efficiently and effectively to achieve our vision.
  • Integrity We are honest and have strong moral principles.

Our Strategy

Refuge4Pets main priorities for 2020/21 are:

  • Priority 1 To reach victims-survivors who need our support to escape domestic abuse.
  • Priority 2 To support victims-survivors of domestic abuse across the communities that we work by bringing people together to form positive support networks.
  • Priority 3 To develop and support volunteers to increase their health and well-being and reach their personal goals.
  • Priority 4 To ensure our financial sustainability so that we can continue to deliver and develop our service.